Here’s Andrew Whitfield with his follow up article to last weeks on FPL patience article. We see how that’s tested after a difficult GW8. Andrew finished with a 6k overall rank last season and 19k the season before.
Andrew Whitfield with more FPL P words – Perspective and Pondering the Possibilities during the International break
Here’s the link to Andrews previous article on FPL patience
Calamity FPL GW8
Here’s my team points for GW8. My current points are 459 and my OR 258k
Is PATIENCE wearing thin after the “ gameweek of doom”
So my 36 points was bang on the average. Only three returning players, with a captain blank would normally signal a big red arrow. As it was, it turned out to be a carnage of a week for most people too, which lessened the pain. It felt a helluva lot worse, until the realisation and reassurance that it was such a low scoring week all round. So only a smallish red arrow in the end , from 217k to 258k and still in the top 4% of teams, so no huge damage done. I am ahead of where I was this time last year in finishing top 6k so time for PERSPECTIVE and not PANIC.
I can’t remember a week where 18 of the top 20 captain choices blanked !! ( Mane and Abraham were the notable exceptions) Aguero, Sterling, Aubameyang, Salah, PUKKI, Kane, Vardy, Wilson, Firmino, Rashford, Son – you name it, they all blanked !! No wonder the average was only 36 and caused so much head scratching !!
It’s easy to PANIC after such a low scoring week and make irrational changes but it’s important to take the scores from last week in the context of the overall average. If you scored 55 when the average was 55, you would be happy. So 36 against an average of 36 is ok too. It was just a week when nearly all the popular players flopped. Keep it in PERSPECTIVE.
It was a week that promised so much. I went into the gameweek with high optimism. I had 8 players on a home fixture. Salah went into the game on the back of 12, 15 and 9 points in his three previous home games, Pukki had scored 17, 11 and 12 in his three previous home games. It was a case of “how many” for Man City v Wolves. What could possibly go wrong ?
Salah and Pukki were amongst eight of my players who blanked. Man City suffered a shock home defeat. McGinn managed to blank despite Villa scoring five !! And the double Liverpool defence was foiled in the 80th minute ( again ). Only Tammy, Lundstram and Pope spared my blushes.
So if nearly all the top players blanked in GW8, where do we all go from here now and which players can we actually trust now to PERFORM ?
The International Break
The second international break was always going to be a popular time anyway to crack open the first wildcard. It coincides with some significant favourable fixtures swings for Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester and it also gives two whole weeks of tinkering to jump on players before they rise and jump off them before they fall. I suspect that a few FPL players will also have been panicked into wildcards too on the back of the nightmare of GW8, despite them just suffering the same as everyone else.
PERSONALLY, I wildcarded in GW7, rightly or wrongly. In hindsight I would like to be holding the wildcard right now. So I have two banked transfers , no money in the bank and lots to consider …
What about De Bruyne and Salah ?
Much depends on the fitness of De Bruyne and Salah before making too many plans. Two PIVOTAL players.,It’s un nerving seeing those two flags on them for two weeks. I will be waiting until the Friday press conferences. Indications are positive on both at time of writing and I want to keep both !! Personally I doubt KDB is injured. Missing the Wolves game allowed him a nice rest from two internationals.
I am looking to hold both. De Bruyne is the top points scorer in FPL. He is essential in my opinion. There is a lot of Salah to Mane activity. There is nothing between them score wise and I think they will both hit scoring spells if you choose one and stick with them. Both are good options. For 0.8M difference, I want the explosive potential of Salah and the rank protection of his higher ownership. Salah has been the highest scorer in FPL for two seasons and bites those that dare to oppose him. I am happy to keep him through the perceived tougher fixtures. Salah has a brace in him anytime and it could come at Old Trafford hopefully.
Who would I like to buy ?
Chelsea have delicious fixtures and I would love to bring in Mount to pair him up with Abraham who I already have. I want them both. Arsenal have great fixtures too but Aubameyang is the only attacking player that appeals. I don’t fancy either defences though with Arsenal ( 2 clean sheets ) or Chelsea ( 1 clean sheet ). I also fancy Callum Wilson as he has five great fixtures plus Man Utd and Spurs so make that seven great fixtures !! . The run starts with that leaky Norwich defence at home and then Watford away. Wilson is the biggest troll In FPL and he owes me big time. So Mount, Auba and Wilson are on my wanted list !!
Who may have to go ?
I am also keeping Alexander-Arnold and Robertson. Whenever I look at raising funds, a downgrade of Robertson is always one that crops up every time. The return of Allison will improve the defence. Liverpool have only 2 clean sheets but it could easily have been 5 or 6. They keep finding a way to concede ONE goal and usually a late one. PAINFUL. Liverpool have conceded only 6 goals in 8 games ( the best defensive record in the league !! ) I am confident the two attacking full backs will be right up there before long. Goals, assists, clean sheets and double figure hauls to come.
Sterling is in POOR form for a 12M player. He scored 20 points in week one, followed by scores of 6,8,3,2,0,7,2 !! Wow that IS poor.,That’s just not good enough at that price, when he is also carrying my armband regularly too. But dare I sell him on a 38% ownership when City can win games 8-0 !! My PATIENT managed risk style of play is compromised if I sell..
The PUKKI PARTY could be over. I am sure he will still have his moments but Norwich have lost their way. Pukki has blanked in three of the last four games. He has also blanked in his last three away games. Two of the next three are away. Again, his 40% ownership is a big worry, but he has to go . I am confident Wilson or Aubameyang can outscore him. Surely they will. That creates a POSITIVE differential.
So what to do?
a PREMIUM swap of Sterling to Aubameyang. This would allow me to bring in Mount and lose Pukki. So Sterling to Mount and Pukki to Aubameyang, which also gives me 1M too which is useful and means no points hits. I miss out on Wilson , reluctantly, and pair up Aubameyang with Abraham. I can captain De Bruyne, Salah and Aubameyang so three great fixture options.
I bring in Wilson for Pukki, and Mount for Cantwell, again funded by downgrading Sterling. I have 9M for a midfield replacement so could go D Silva at 7.5M and bank 1.5M too. This would mean a -4 hit ( my first all season ) and I miss out on Aubameyang, but De Bruyne and D Silva would be a hedge for losing Sterling. My captain options reduce to De Bruyne and Salah with no Auba, as I would probably not captain Wilson or Abraham often, but I have been alternating just Salah and Sterling so happy to do so with Salah and De Bruyne instead. De Bruyne is wearing big boy trousers now in leading the way in points, so he can step up and be a reliable captain option with Salah.
I have another variation on option two where I buy Maddison ( Amazing fixtures again ) instead of D Silva, go only De Bruyne as Man City attack, but it gives me a delicious midfield five of Salah, De Bruyne, Mount, Maddison and McGinn. It also means nearly 2M banked which can upgrade my redundant Greenwood up to Wesley or Maupay and almost a Chris Wood. I like that.
I wish I still had my wildcard and I wouldn’t be missing all the price changes either waiting for news on De Bruyne and Salah. If I am possibly taking a -4, I am not committing to it until the final Friday, especially with the potential for international injuries.
It’s a big call losing Sterling, especially when I am a strong template player. Then again, I am never more than two moves from him or anyone else . Losing Sterling gives me a better overall balance to my team . It doesn’t sit well with me selling Sterling and Pukki when they are 3rd and 4th in ownership and I am a risk based manager. I still might bottle it and that word PATIENCE might get the better of me.
I would rather lose Sterling than lose Robertson or Salah. Mo is in better form than Sterling. Liverpool have won every game and Salah is less prone to rotation than Sterling. Robertson would be less of a template risk but I have faith in those two full backs and they can be be my great differential sword.
As someone who rarely steps away from the most popular captain, it’s going to be a test to see Aguero and Sterling high in the polls when I don’t own them but then again, the popular captains have failed multiple times this season !! De Bruyne can still cover the tasty City fixtures. Letting the dog choose your captain would arguably have been more successful this season so far than going with the popular picks. I actually quite like Abraham next up v Newcastle if I am bold enough, with Salah and De Bruyne nursing those flags and arguably having tougher fixtures.
I really want Mount and Wilson . I went all last season without Aubameyang and he finished top points scoring striker but I still finished top 6K without him. I also think he might be rotated more when Lacazette is back. That Wilson fixture next up v Norwich looks so sweet. As does Chelsea v Newcastle. It could repay the hit nicely.
Of course, any significant international injuries will completely blow the plans out of the water..
Lots to consider.. but I am PRETTY sure I won’t be doing “nothing “ . I think the sands are changing, the tides are turning, the template is changing and I am going to be a little more adventurous in my battle with the template. I think it needs to be done. It’s a PECULIAR season that’s for sure !!!
Enjoy the International break and enjoy your PONDERING !!!!
Here’s the link to Andrews previous article on FPL patience
Also Rick Porters cutting through the FPL noise
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